A Dog Called Cat – Tracey Glasspool
1040 words Children 3 – 7 years
Digger is in the doghouse. He has eaten the sausages, chewed dad’s slippers and tiddled on the kitchen floor. Digger decides that being a dog isn’t much fun anymore – but what should he be instead?
Digger the dog sat in the garden. His ears drooped, his tail drooped, even his whiskers drooped. “Outside!” Mum had shouted. “You are a very naughty dog!” Digger hadn’t meant to eat the sausages that had been left out for tea. He hadn’t meant to chew Dad’s favourite slippers. And he really hadn’t meant to tiddle on Mum’s clean kitchen floor. “I don’t want to be a dog anymore,” he said. He padded off, thinking about what he could be instead.
A Dog For All Reasons – Peter Lingard
2200 words Women’s Fiction / Feel Good / Humour
A man is left with a dog his wife brought into their lives. The animal helps him readjust and eventually find happiness.
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I laughed at her outrageous statement and made wagers with her to win my prize. I got her inebriated. I challenged her to nude wrestling matches and other transparent games and she laughed at me. When I said it was time to stop the games, she said, “Not until we get a dog.” The dog was a Welsh corgi and he was the right size for our garden flat. He was farm-born, a few weeks old and nameless when he came into our lives.
A Dog’s Life – Linda Louisa Dell
700 words Women’s Fiction
Life can be very hard living with an ‘alpha’ male and when that man gets himself a tough-looking dog to match his image it can be a recipe for trouble, but not necessarily the trouble you expect!
He didn’t need much of an excuse; if there wasn’t a beer waiting for him or his dinner on the table, he’d had a bad day at work or just had too much to drink; I was always the one that bore the brunt of it.
A Kinship of Cats – Dorothy Williams
3000 words General Fiction / Animal Story
A Kinship with Cats lightens the difficult lives of two old war veterans as they strive to maintain their independence together as fire, flood and disability diminish their ability to live off their land. They pity a mysterious giant feral cat starved of prey by the fires, that steals from their barbecue, until a reporter reveals its identity.
Only the passing of the marmalade tabby draws his attention. He sits alone and silent all day on the veranda of the Alamein Home. But then, old George never did talk much . . . He sat on the steps with Vern, gazing across the firebreak. They sniffed the wind and the faint drift of smoke from the ranges, sensing the weather — a wind change, maybe rain on the way. Only once had fire come towards them from the mountains to the east. The rain came just in time that year. Every summer still, just in case, they ploughed a firebreak through the regenerating bush that reached across the narrow flat towards the little shack.
A Lost Cause – Samantha Tonge
1700 words Feel Good / Animal Story
A home-less kitten makes house-proud Juliet realize just how much she has changed, since having children.
This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk
‘It’s such a cliché.’ Juliet groaned. ‘Everyone told me it would happen. I insisted it wouldn’t.’ ‘What?’ asked her sister, Susan, who had called in after spending the morning on the phone to tradesmen. Her washing machine had leaked the previous evening and her laminate floor was ruined. ‘Getting broody – now that Emily is in reception year.’ Juliet placed two coffees on the kitchen table. She offered Susan a biscuit and sat down opposite her. ‘Other mums warned me that’s how I’d feel, when my youngest started school full-time.’
A Resting Place – Deborah Hawksley
13500 words Ghost Story
Marie Helmsley is a dog person. Returning to her native East Yorkshire she acquires ‘Ben’ from the local rescue centre – a large black mongrel with spooked brown eyes. Is it possible for a dog to carry the spirit of a dead person? Marie supposes not, but is about to discover.
Marie Helmsley was what you’d call a ‘dog person.’ She could look a dog in the eyes and guess what it might be thinking. She could talk to a dog and it would tilt its head, seeming to understand. The shared bond was fundamental; the abiding loyalty, deeply reassuring. Marie had mulled over having a dog of her own for several months, spending time at her computer studying photographs of rejected, abandoned, dogs in the rescue centre near to where she lived. She didn’t want a puppy. She wanted a dog that, otherwise, might not get a new home. As she pulled in to the North Cove rescue centre she had the uncanny feeling she was about to find exactly the dog that was meant for her.
Barney’s Winter Present – Pam Ramage
650 words Children 5 – 8 years
Barney, the little brown stoat has a huge problem. It’s beginning to snow & he has no cosy winter home to sleep in. He thinks his coat is beginning to turn white because he is worrying so much. “What am I going to do?” he cries.
Barney, the little brown stoat who lived in the highlands of Scotland, was very worried indeed. It was getting colder and colder. All the other animals had made cosy winter homes. Badger had dug a deep burrow with his powerful claws. Red Squirrel, after hiding his nuts, was having a nap in his tree-house. Hedgehog slept soundly under a pile of autumn leaves, snug and warm.
Bessie’s Rescue – Maggie Jones
2260 words General Fiction / Feel Good
Benn and his sheepdog Bessie, venture out in the snow to rescue his sheep, the ‘girls’. But when Benn falls and badly hurts his ankle, he realises he’s in trouble. He’s always been a stubborn man, especially concerning his son Andrew. Will he let his stubbornness continue to ruin his life?
‘Away, Bessie, go find those girls for me?’ Benn pointed towards the far end of the field as the dog glanced at her master before scurrying off. She was a good faithful old girl, and he knew that if anyone could find his missing ewes then it was her. Although they were due to lamb at any time, Benn had let them out into the field thinking some fresh air and grass would do them the world of good, even perhaps bringing them on. At the time the sky had looked threatening, but not enough that he was worried. He thought he knew better than any weather man predicting heavy snow during the day, and when no more than sleet started to fall, he thought he had been proved right once more.
Bonnie the Laughing Rabbit – Pat Boulton
All the animals that lived in the wood, were getting tired of hearing Bonnie the rabbit constantly laughing. Every time she saw one of them she would laugh, and laugh and laugh.
Not one of the animals could get to the bottom of it. Even Bonnie’s rabbit family could not understand why she was constantly laughing. So all the animals decided to gather round for a meeting. Perhaps one of them might come up with a reason for Bonnie’s behaviour.
Bonnie the rabbit had lots of brothers and sisters, as well as all the other animals in the wood, who were her friends. She was a very happy rabbit, and would laugh all the time even if there wasn’t anything particular to laugh at. Although all the other rabbits and animals in the wood were happy, they found Bonnie’s laughing rather a nuisance at times.
Carla the Little Red Hen – Pat St Pierre
One day Betsey found that her pet chicken, Carla, had lost all her feather. Carla was shivering from the cold. Betsey didn’t know what to do.
This story is included in the collection Read It Again
Betsey lived on a farm. She didn’t have a pet of her own but she wanted one. One day Betsey asked her dad, “May I have a farm animal for my very own?” “Well,” said her dad. “Do you think that you’ll be able to take care of it by yourself?” “Yes, I think I can,” said Betsey. “I want to keep a baby chick for my pet.”
Coco and Biscuits – Samantha Tonge
1600 words Feel Good / Animal Story
As a result of helping out at the local cat rescue centre, routine-loving Norah has to make some unexpected changes.
This story is included in the collection Sweet Talk
Poor Gill,’ said Norah, as she stood by the front window, which she did every evening in the summer, right on eight o’clock. Having spent the evening in the lounge, reading or listening to the radio with her husband, she would cast an eye over her favourite shrubs, check for dead heads or random branches that might need pruning. Then it was into the kitchen to fetch tea and biscuits for her and John. Any later would give her indigestion in bed, any earlier and her stomach would gurgle in the night with hunger.
Donny’s Dilemma – Pam Ramage
Donny, the little grey donkey and his two friends, Bobs & Bessie loved giving children donkey rides along the sands, and were devastated to learn that Jim the donkey man was going to Australia to live. Nobody else wanted the job. Sharon, too was dismayed. Donny was her favourite donkey, and she often brought him titbits. Donny loved all the children, but he loved Sharon best of all. What was to become of them all?
Donny, the little grey donkey, knew there was something wrong. For a start, old Jim the donkey man wasn’t his usual cheery self as he helped the children on and off Donny’s back, and walked him up and down the sands, and he was always whispering to Mike, the young lad who helped him. “Have you heard anything?” Donny asked Bobs and Bessie, the other two donkeys. But they shook their heads.
Dotty the Donkey’s Flowery Hat – Pat Boulton
730 words Children 3 – 6 years
Dotty the donkey spent all the summer giving rides to the children on the beach. He didn’t mind as he loved his job, and the children. This was to be his last day before he went to his stable for the winter. The last day on the beach turned out to be the most fun he had had all summer.
Dotty the Donkey was always a little sad when the end of the summer came, and she no longer spent her day walking up and down the sand at the seaside. Her job was to give the little boys and girls a ride on her back. She loved to hear the children squeal with delight, as they bumped up and down on her saddle, although her master always made sure that she trotted slowly.
From Wolf to Pug: The Jagged Line of Evolution – Lori Windsor Mohr
Why do people have a hard time believing little dogs have the same wolf heritage as big dogs? When Lori volunteers with the Search Dog Foundation, her pug Lucy in tow, the search dogs and their handlers treat the pug like a little dog. Lucy sets makes it clear that, just like the Labs and Border Collies, she has instincts as a genetically programmed hunter and killer.
Pugs linked to wolves? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Anyone who’s ever watched the Westminster Dog Show knows dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, from hunting dogs to lap dogs, working dogs to toys. Of course the wide variation in breed is relatively recent and not a product of nature. That was man’s doing—taking the raw material of domestic dog and coming up with a Labradoodle. But they all share a link to the same genetic heritage—the gray wolf.
Guide Dog – Jeanne E. Tepper
1800 words Women’s Fiction
Told in the form of journal entries and letters to God, this story follows a young boy named Jordan, during his last weeks of life. Readers are encouraged to find a spot where they are comfortable having a deeply emotional reaction to this heart-rending tale.
The doctors said it was okay for Jordan to have a puppy. Joe thinks it’s a good idea. He said we can even train it to help him a little, picking things up off the floor and such. I know when Joe says “we,” he really means me, since I am at home caring for the children. He said he always had a dog as a boy and doesn’t see why Jordan shouldn’t too. Maybe, we can get one of those specially trained dogs. Jordan gets so frustrated at the things he can’t do that other kids can. Then that frustration turns into anger at being sick. It broke my heart the other day when he looked at me with his big brown eyes and said, “I’m not ready to go Mom. Why does God want me so soon?”
Gulliver’s Travels – Maggie Jones
3100 words Feel Good / Animal Story
Dog has been on his own almost all his life. His trust in humans is non-existent, especially after all the times he was given a home, only to be discarded by his owners shortly afterwards. He lives his life these days in the park, where he sits and watches people, especially an old couple June and Ted. They desperately try to win Dog’s trust. But can Dog learn to have faith in any humans ever again?
Dog was there again, at exactly the same time as he had been for the last few weeks. He’d found the park just after the snow had melted. Luckily for him, he had managed to find somewhere that, although wasn’t warm, was comfortable. More importantly for him, it was somewhere he felt safe enough to put his head down and sleep. Every day he watched people going about their daily needs, with mothers urging their children to hurry as they rushed them towards school in the mornings and then urging them to hurry as they rushed them home again in the afternoons. Then there were the joggers, and speed walkers, constantly rushing to who knew where?
Harry and Henman – Gill McKinlay
1000 words Women’s Fiction / Animal
Lillian is sick of Harry hanging around the house. But is getting a dog the answer?
Ever since Harry had been made redundant, he’d given up on life. All he wanted to do was lie on the couch with the remote. “He can’t stay there forever,” Lillian complained to her daughter Sara. “Why not get a dog?” Sara suggested. “He could take it out for walks.” That evening, Lillian mentioned getting a puppy. “No way,” said Harry. “They’re a huge responsibility. And I can’t cope with responsibility. That’s why Builders-R-Us got rid of me.”
Home Sweet Home – Joan Zambelli
You can go on an adventure with Felicity Star; find out if Old Grumpy’s golden apples really are scrumptious, and discover how Queen Happygolucky gets King Moanalot to smile…and so much more.
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Stories included: Home Sweet Home, Reggie, The Little Red Car, Old Grumpy’s Golden Apples, The Sun Has Fun, Felicity’s Adventure, Lonely Lenny Lion, The Little Rowing Boat, A New Home and a New Friend, The Magic of Dewdrop Dell, The King Who Never Smiled, My Most Unusual Christmas Treat, Gran’s Strange New Little Red Car
Home Sweet Home – Joan Zambelli
835 words Children 3 – 7
Sometimes, the other chicks teased Chipperty Chick, so she decided to return to her old, peaceful egg-shell home, but where was this? Then someone, with a long bushy tail, said he knew exactly where Chipperty’s old home was. Who was he, and was he telling the truth?
This story is available in the collection Home Sweet Home
Chipperty Chick poked her head up and up until it reached the top of her egg-shell home. It was then that the shell cracked! It had been dark inside the egg-shell. Now, as she poked her head out through the top, it suddenly became very light, and the dazzling sunshine made her blink. “Where am I?” a rather puzzled Chipperty asked.
I’m Running Away – Pam Ramage
570 words Children 3 – 5 years
Curly Lamb was sick & tired of his friends making fun of his curly coat. He decided to run away one day & found out some very surprising things.
One day in the Scottish Highlands, a little lamb was born with the curliest coat you’ve ever seen. “We’ll call you Curly,” his proud mother said. As the months went by, his coat grew even curlier. The other lambs were always making fun of him, even Lulu whom he liked most of all.
Little Silver Fish and Mr Whale – Samantha Tonge
500 words Children 3 – 7 years
Can these unlikely allies team up to save the day for each other?
Gaily, Little Silver Fish swam through his favourite weeds, when suddenly he spotted something large, on the seabed. He raised his tail and dived down. Two sharp eyes gazed up at him.
Lonely Lenny Lion – Joan Zambelli
750 words Children 3 – 7
Lenny, the yellow toy lion, had always been Paula’s favourite toy. She took him everywhere with her. So you can imagine how sad and lonely Lenny felt when Paula began to leave him at home. Then one day, Paula needed a yellow mascot for her school team. Would she remember lonely Lenny?
This story is available in the collection Home Sweet Home
Lenny, Paula’s yellow soft furry toy lion, was her favourite toy. She kept him on her bedside table at night, so she would be able to see him as soon as she awoke each morning. Paula took Lenny with her everywhere she went. He had been to all her friends’ birthday parties with her. He had travelled with Paula in cars, in buses and in trains.
Lucky By Name – Susan Jones
1200 words Animal / Women’s Fiction
When a little black poodle goes missing in the middle of Coventry, her family are beside themselves with worry. Will she find her way home, or could some other fate be waiting in the city centre for her?
I never dreamed for one minute I’d be getting a puppy. She was a small bundle of black fur when Mum and Dad brought her home. When they placed her into my hands, she fitted into my palm, snuggling down, making herself comfortable. “I’m going to call her ’Lucky’, my special mascot.” “That’s a good idea.” Mum smiled. They’d been worrying about me, I could tell; ever since I fell out of that tree, knocking myself unconscious. It made me see stars.
Lucy Ladybird’s Disappearing Spots – Samantha Tonge
500 words Children 3 – 7 years
Can Pip Pixie solve the mystery of Lucy Ladybird’s disappearing spots?
One Monday morning, Pip Pixie made his way to school, whistling a cheerful tune. Half-way there, he spotted his friend Lucy Ladybird. She was asleep at the foot of the great oak tree, on a comfy leaf, just in front of her little wooden front door.
Mr Fluffytuff and the Missing Easter Eggs – Jenny Francis
A tale from the animals who live in Apple Wood Glen. with silly Mrs Quackers the duck, kind Mr Fluffytuff the rabbit and clever Nigel the frog.
My Fluffytuff has Easter Eggs for all the young animals in the Easter egg hunt, but some of the eggs have gone missing…
Mr Fluffytuff was a very important rabbit. He was in charge of making all the Easter eggs for the Easter egg hunt. He worked very hard to make the Easter eggs, covering them in bright shiny paper. This year he made twenty-two eggs, one for each of the young animals who lived in Apple Wood Glen, plus two spares just in case of accidents.